A man’s journey to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis has brought him through Carbon and Emery county.
Thirty-year-old Tommy “Danger” Locklin began his cross-country run on September 22, in Seattle, Washington. Locklin’s trek was inspired after a friend’s son had beenВ diagnosedВ with the debilitating disease. While in the area this week, Locklin captivated the hearts of many, sharing his story and raising awareness.
“He was a very laid back guy, who is running for a wonderful cause,” said Helper resident, Felicia Otero, who met Locklin in the parking lot of KFC.
He explained to Otero on Tuesday that he was preparing to continue on to Green River and hoped to reach his final destination, Daytona Beach, Florida in April.
The sweatshirt in which he is pictured has the logo MTJM, which stands for More Than Just Miles, explaining Locklin runs to raise awareness. An etv10news.com reporter caught up with Locklin through a phone interview Tuesday night.
“Well, I didn’t quite make it to Green River today, but we will in the morning,” Locklin said from his van driven by travel companion, Timothy Ettridge. With one third of his journey completed, Locklin and Ettridge have battled the elements and sheer exhaustion, but their cause gives them the strength to continue on.
“I run as far as I can in one day,” Locklin said. ” In the beginning I ran 15 miles a day, and now I push myself to 18 or more. Sometimes I feel the need to stop because I hurt, but when I think of Ethan, and others suffering with Cystic Fibrosis, I push on.”
Although the trek is inspiring and a task many only wish they could accomplish, this will be Locklin’s second tripВ acrossВ the country. The first trip, Locklin rode his bicycle from west coast to east coast. His followers wonder what made “The Danger” who he is today?
“I grew up in a home with simple means,” he said. “It made me appreciate who I am, and taught me to be greatful for life every day. I’m lucky to have what I do, and I want to give back.”
Some may say there is no rest for the wicked, and Locklin would have it no other way. He is currently planning his next challenge to climb the seven summits in November of 2013. Climbing the seven highest peaks in the world will be the most trecherous of Locklin’s challenges yet, but his motivation will help him along the way.
“I must be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared for my next journey, but I will push through to raise awareness for pediatric cancer,” he said.
Locklin’s profession as an emcee has given him the freedom to help others, but in 2017 he hopes to launch his own foundation changing lives as his profession.
“I’m working to launch the FatTom Foundation, which will have three main platforms: encouraging a healthy lifestyle, building schools in empoverished areas, and giving other foundations a helping hand,” he said.
With the end of this journey coming in April, Locklin will run the last 100 miles in 24 hours, and encourages those interested to follow along on Facebook.
All proceeds donated will go directly to the treatment and research of Cystic Fibrosis. In his last comments during the interview Locklin spoke of his biggest supporter, a 24-year-old North Carolina resident suffering with Cystic Fibrosis.
“Wes was one of my biggest supporters, and greatest inspirations,” he said. ” He recently passed away and I would like to give his family a shout-out for all they have done and continue to do.”
Wes Telsrow was a fan of Locklin and his efforts and his family and friends have now started the group “Fighting for Wes,” where they visit those suffering with Cystic Fibrosis in hospitals, or in their homes and offer companionship in his memory. Locklin encourages all to do the same.
“I just want everyone to understand Cystic Fibrosis is a very serious disease, and research is underfunded. We need to support any way we can,” he said.
VisitВ morethanjustmiles.org to find out how you can help in the treatment and research of Cystic Fibrosis.